Stickers, Triangles and Breathalysers - The Kit You Need When Driving Abroad

Jack Dreyer | Wednesday 28th February 2024 10:00am

Car speeding on mountain pass.

Preparing for a holiday abroad comes with its own challenges. The to-do list can seem daunting - getting travel insurance, packing your suitcases, not to mention remembering your passports.

If youíre planning on travelling to Europe with your car though, there are certain compulsory items you need to make sure you carry in the vehicle. Weíve previously revealed how many motorists do not carry out basic checks to their vehicle, such as checking tyre pressure and coolant levels, before embarking on a long journey, but itís equally as important to make sure you are carrying the right kit when travelling abroad if you want to avoid getting into hot water with the local authorities.

Read on for more.

Why are travel kits important?

From a health and safety perspective, making sure you have equipment available in case of an accident and/or emergency is crucial, especially if itís a medical emergency. Some items in the travel kit will also make other road users aware of an accident or medical emergency, which will make getting help more likely and more expedient.

Ultimately, itís the law in European countries to have safety equipment readily available in your vehicle. Not adhering to the law could land you with a hefty fine, so itís in your best interests to make sure you're fully prepared prior to travelling.

Letís take a look at whatís included in a European travel kit.

Warning triangle set up behind vehicle to warn road users of an incident.

What should your travel kit include?

The requirements of your car kit will likely vary depending on the European country youíre visiting. Vehicle owners can purchase European Travel Kits by searching online or visiting a motoring store, but make sure to check the driving requirements for the country (or countries) youíre planning to enter to find out if you need to add anything else to your kit.

For example:

  • In France you must carry a breathalyser kit in your vehicle (although French authorities cannot currently impose a fine). Further to this, the drink-driving limit is lower in France than in the UK so itís recommended that you do not drink at all.
  • Warning triangles must be carried in many European countries in case a breakdown occurs. However, in Switzerland, the warning triangle must be kept within easy reach of the driver's seat and not in the boot.
  • In Spain you must carry two warning triangles to avoid an on-the-spot fine. This is also true in Croatia but only if towing a trailer.
  • In Belgium you must carry a fire extinguisher in the vehicle.
  • In Austria you must ensure there is a first aid kit in the vehicle.
  • Since most of Europe drives on the right, you will need to install headlamp beam converters so that you do not dazzle oncoming traffic. Failure to do so can result in an on-the-spot fine.
  • You must display a UK sticker if your number plate features a GB identifier with the Union flag, an EU flag or a national flag of England, Scotland or Wales.

These are just some of the rules and regulations that can be easily overlooked by motorists when travelling abroad, but for a full list of what youíll need when driving in some of the most visited countries in Europe, have a look at our handy table below:

Country Compulsory Car Equipment
Austria UK Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Hi Vis Jacket, First Aid Kit, Warning Triangle
Belgium UK Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Hi Vis Jacket, Warning Triangle, Fire Extinguisher
Croatia UK Sticker, Warning Triangle, Hi Vis Jacket, First Aid Kit, Headlamp Beam Converters
Denmark UK Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Warning Triangle
France UK Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, NF Approved Breathalyser (x2), Hi Vis Jacket, Warning Triangle
Germany UK Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Warning Triangle, Hi Vis Jacket, First Aid Kit
Ireland UK Sticker
Italy UK Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Hi Vis Jacket, Warning Triangle
Netherlands UK Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Warning Triangle
Norway UK Sticker, Warning Triangle, Hi Vis Jacket, Headlamp Beam Converters
Portugal UK Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Hi Vis Jacket, Warning Triangle
Spain UK Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Hi Vis Jacket, Warning Triangle (x2)
Sweden UK Sticker, Hi Vis Jacket, Headlamp Beam Converters
Switzerland UK Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Warning Triangle

Need a service before your next trip?

We canít stress how important it is to have a travel kit in place prior to your holiday.

If you require a service before a long haul journey, get in touch with the experts at your local Kwik Fit centre. Our friendly team will be more than happy to get your car ready for travelling.

In the meantime, read our blog to keep up-to-date with the latest motoring news and trends.


Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.




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